Manilow’s ‘Cease and Desist’ is Smart Punk

by Lisa Waugh

As a former punk disciple, Manilow had me at their band name. To kick off the first track of their new EP Cease and Desist, “Missing” hits the right spot and elegantly smashes the mood to gooshy, delicious pieces. Manilow’s record is a nice thrash indeed.

The London band is propelling a mix of genres forward – post punk, fuck-you pop, melodic discord alt, power shower – with their slant and slam on what my mom used to call “fucking noise that scares me and makes the cat shit.”

All of that power is generated by just three guys in Manilow

All of that power is generated by just three guys in Manilow

I loved the anti-everything beauty of rot and decay, name calling of punk when it first hit my small What-We-Have-Here-Is-A-Failure-To-Communicate Southern town. But I grew up and tired of coming home from the show with blood on my leathers, even though most of the time it wasn’t my blood.

And I may have grown out of beating the shit out of things but I never grew out of my intrinsic love of that raw sound. It’s been a huge rush to see certain bands take the sound along, updating, adding to and breaking it apart to form their own mighty monster.

“We don’t aim for ‘a sound,’ we’re more honest and ragged than that. Our songs are about real life, there’s no redemption stories, no cute resolutions. We just write and play the stuff we are going through,” says singer and guitarist Dean Moston

I find Cease and Desist delightfully witty, well crafted and just what grown ass but never grown up musicians are capable of producing.

There’s a definite vintage The Who sound rippling through the EP. You hear it especially on “Law Here” with Moston’s voice and Manilow’s handling of the track reminding me of Daltry when he was tanned, hot and we didn’t know he was fucking crazy.

I’m not surprised that Manilow is from London. Punk got the best of its safety pin roots from the land of tea and crumpets. Manilow has added a new edge and added real musicality.Cease and Desist CD Cover

“Control Issue” is pure, satisfying slam-inspiring greatness. I pissed off some people in the produce section of Trader Joe’s jumping around to this track. What? You’re covered in tattoos, kid? Is moshing next to the bagged, sliced apples so scary? I guess so.

This soft, fucking generation.

“Vitamins” is simply wonderful. It’s old school and now school. I love how the track is produced with some of that punk-mixing only this time you can actually hear it.

Cease and Desist is a lot of things. All good things. Manilow is whatever they need to be, post punk, Southern rock by way of the pub, alt rock… Whatever they are, Manilow’s beautiful noise is an intelligent addition to your music collection.

Manilow are:

Dean Moston – lead vox, guitar, lyrics
Paul Chamberlain – bass, keys, backing vox
Gary Cardno – Drums, percussion, backing vox

Cease and Desist tracklisting:

Law Here
Control Issue

Cease and Desist Production:

Recorded @ Dropout Camberwell, London. Engineered and
co-produced by: Tim Cedar (Part Chimp) / Mastered by: Guy Bailey (The Quireboys)